It’s Squidpants bringing you a retail review. This time we are looking at a hashish offering from the legal market, some dry sift from The Batch. The Batch harkens back to the olden days when the type of weed you got was what the dealer was selling and all they knew is it was cannabis of some description. The Batch is the same; “What’s in the jar?”, “Weed, buy it or don’t.” It’s a budget brand so by not promising consistency of genetics, just whatever they could get at a good price, they can keep prices low. This hash is the same inasmuch as no lineage is even hinted at, we are just told it’s like old school gold seal. Well, I got a lot of gold seal back in the day, and we didn’t know anything about the genetics back then either. It was hash, it was good, and if you lived in my part of Canada it was the same price as flower by weight but would give more bang for the buck.
My understanding is it wasn’t the same out west but in Ontario on east to the Atlantic, where the smugglers arrived by boat, back in the day hash was abundant and mostly adorned with a gold seal. This hashish was produced mainly in Afghanistan, Pakistan or Iran with the Afghani being considered the best. The seal was of the family or farm that produced it, gold for their highest export grade. If you happen to be fluent in the language on the seal you could just read the specific details. For those of us who couldn’t read any of the seals we had to judge by colour, scent and stickiness if the vendor was kind enough to even let you examine it before purchase. Not all gold seal was equal, but you quickly got to know how to judge them against each other. Basically, gold seal isn’t well defined, but that helps the producer defend their claim. I got to know this class of hash very well all those years ago, which means I think I can really fairly judge the offering here.
We have a foil lined pouch in dark green outside with a logo and all the legally required information. Nothing exciting but that’s legal packaging for you. Inside we have a clear, locking baggie adorned with a THC warning sticker and with the hash in a thick sheet inside. Not to ruin the surprise, but the hash will have completely adhered to this inner bag. I had to throw the baggie in the freezer for about five minutes, then the hash easily came out of the baggie and I just wrapped it in parchment paper. If anyone with some say at The Batch ever reads this, please change the packaging to have the hash in parchment paper instead of the baggie.
It’s near black on the surface and very shiny. This looks nice. Like, Afghani nice. Cut through the hash and expose the inside to see a rich dark brown. Examining closely the product is completely consistent throughout. The hash was so shiny and so dark that I really wasn’t able to get a photo that properly represented what I saw. So far they are living up to their promise to be equal to the old school.
Opening the outer envelope you get a face full of old school hash smell! Opening that inner baggie and it’s a full on assault. Nothing else in the world smells like hash and this definitely smells like hashish should. Things are looking very promising so far, let’s see if it delivers!
Here I evaluated by smoking only. No real vapourization option for old school hash that I know of apart from hot knives. I’ll pass but if you want to ruin a few knives and risk really serious burns I can’t stop you. Instead I used a small wooden pipe I use only for hashish, as well as the Canadian classic; the Bottle Toke (aka BT). If you need a primer in this most Canadian way to smoke hashish may I recommend binging the entirety of the Trailer Park Boys. Everything will become clear. The quick and dirty explanation is you get a smallish bottle, put a hole in the side (we could use a dime in a glass bottle and get a perfect round hole most times). You pick up a small piece of hash on the burning tip of a cigarette or joint, put it in the side hole while covering the top. Once it’s burned, remove the cigarette or joint, then breathe it all in from the top opening. You will immediately regret every life decision that led to that moment. It’s the best.
This is the simplest way to smoke hash there is. Yes a chillum is more traditional but pipes are just so simple. I started by just teasing the hash with the flame and watching the volatiles boil off. It’s a nice bit bubbly, always a good sign. Sure it’s not full melt but it doesn’t claim to be. Exhale and . . . it’s ok. Going back and completely combusting the little blob it remains fine but not what I was hoping for. Taste isn’t quite up to the promise of the scent and feel. There’s a weird, sickly sweet note just whispering around the edges and a lack of earths and oils I am expecting. On top of that there’s more than a hint of wet lawn flavour. It’s not in your face, but it is there. Whatever the plant was, it wasn’t a traditional hash plant. The unique to hash scent and taste specifically comes from working the trichomes with heat and pressure so I would be amazed if that wasn’t there but the secondary tastes just don’t quite match expectations.. So, the taste isn’t quite what I expected and a bit more mild than I hoped, but the taste it has is mostly a good hashy taste. Mostly.
I’ve dipped into this a few times now and my opinion is unchanged; it’s fine, approaching good but the negatives hold it back to just fine.
I will mention the combustion experience here. It was also ok, in the pipe it burned to a clean ash mostly. I found it was hard to get the middle to combust completely so some black is left in the ashes here and there. So not ideal but acceptable.
Why!?!? Why do I do these things to myself? This is why I am alone!!! I don’t smoke cigarettes so I used a joint. It didn’t help. The taste is exactly like I expect it to taste; vile and weird. On the exhale it tastes about as bad but tickles my sinuses to a near painful degree which is unusual. I knew it’s going to be like this, BTs are always like this, but still I do it anyway. Can’t wait to have another.
This is not a premium product, but it’s not trying to compete with premium products. It’s trying to compete with imported legacy hashish. If I average out the pluses and minuses it pretty well competes on quality, but it’s the compromises you notice most. Also like what it competes with it’s not the most potent example of hashish (but don’t think it’s weak, it’s just far from the strongest in this class at 35.2% THC according to the label). This all comes down to price. I paid $20.34 a gram (2 gram package) which isn’t the best price for this product out there but I had to pay a premium for the convenience of a local store. You can find it for a few dollars cheaper a gram with little effort. My research, albeit limited, indicates the legacy market’s competing product is going for about $15 a gram for small purchases at the time of writing.
It doesn’t strike me as the best value, even factoring in the value of lab testing, but let’s go a little deeper. To yield a gram of hashish you need an input of about 2 to 4 grams of dried flower (let’s employ a version of the Principle of Charity and just pretend they are using proper flower and aren’t just using trim which is difficult to sell anyway and has almost no value without processing). The Batch doesn’t have any dried flower in the Ontario market at the moment so I looked to our neighbours in Quebec for present prices. They are firmly in the $5 a gram class so this price per gram is only fair if they are close to the 4:1 flower to hash ratio. In the following analysis it should be noted that there are negligible amounts of other cannabinoids so all active content should be assumed to be THC. The two grams of hash should total to about 703.4mg THC. If this did come from 4 grams of flower (being 2 grams flower per gram since it’s a two gram package), the flower would need to be around 17.6% THC. $10 a gram of around 18% THC is an ok price if the cannabis is pretty good. If it was about 4 grams of flower per gram then the flower would be about 8.8% THC and about $5 a gram. Remember, we are assuming it’s not being made from trim bought cheaply from whole flower processors. $5 a gram for weed that is weak seems very expensive due to undesirability alone. The actual ratio is somewhere in between most likely when using flower, so let’s look at the midpoint between those. Let’s call it $7.50 per gram at around 14% THC, doing lots of rounding off to make the number less awkward. Knowing this is lower quality flower on the input it does look a bit expensive, but not too bad. Unless it’s made from trim, but we are being charitable in our assumptions.
It seems all we’ve learned is that value is dependent on the quality of the inputs. Well, this isn’t a premium product from premium flower so it does feel a bit expensive. I did receive a 100mg overcount which took a little of the sting out, but as this is the only package I or anyone I know has had it’s a sample of one so I have no idea how consistent their weights are or if my high weight was just good luck or not.
Wow this was a long winded one, thanks for sticking around this long!
This isn’t the cheapest offering but it’s far closer to the low end than the high end. At the time of writing in Ontario you can get hash as low as $10/g in the legal market (which is good at dollars per mg of THC but that product looks terrible so I have no plans to sample it). This isn’t trying to compete with dabbable concentrates and is no threat to that market. For the market segment it targets it’s just a few dollars a gram too much. Also there’s no guarantee that one batch will be like the next due to varying inputs so some batches might be exceptional, others not so much. Yes that mimics the legacy market for this type of product but part of the promise of a legal market is consistency. I am just shy of recommending this, but in the end compromising on price is a compromise too far. Unfortunately I am not aware of any legal hash product that is truly like the hash of my youth at a fair price. Personally I recommend making your own hash from your own home grown, if you are able to grow your own. Traditional hash plants like Hindu Kush are easy to grow, the seeds are even available in the legal market, and with a little research you will find you can make your own incredible quality hashish with all the traditional tastes and properties yourself. You can make it just from trim if you want to keep all your best buds intact. It will be far higher quality than this was too.
Holds an honours BSc. from University of Toronto and resides in Toronto, Ontario. He has hosted a weekly cannabis grow discussion online and helps run a semi regular contest for amateur growers called TCLEWSI.